breaking new ground in design, technology, and storytelling.
Cheryl’s professional passions include natural user interfaces, design for scale and complexity, system design, and storytelling for product design.
Best known for her work on popular products including Amazon’s Alexa, the Echo Look, Cortana, Disney’s PhotoPass, The Sims, and Microsoft’s Azure platform, Cheryl is currently the Director of User Experience for the Player Platform and head of UX craft at Riot Games.
Cheryl is the author of Design Beyond Devices: Creating Multimodal, Cross-Device Experiences (Rosenfeld Media, 2020) – a book she describes as “the design manual for folks who aspire to build the bridge of the starship of their dreams.”
Cheryl is a Verified author on Medium and her posts have been featured on the platform for years, including Staff Picks and the Medium Fellowship program. Her writing has been published by Katie Couric Media, Forbes.com, and the Huffington Post.
From TEDx to international keynotes, Cheryl’s tech industry experience and performing arts background have made her a sought-after speaker around the world. Cheryl is founder and owner of Ideaplatz, LLC, a design education company. She’s shared her talks and workshops on 5 continents, in over 15 countries, and at dozens of virtual events.
Highlights include Interaction Latin America 2019, UX Days Tokyo & Seoul 2019, TEDx Seattle 2019, UX Scotland 2019, Webdagene 17, UX Week 2018, DesignOps Summit 2018, UX London 2018, and UxLx (Lisbon) 2017.
A veteran film, video, stage, and voice-over actress, Cheryl is best known for co-starring in multiple Twitch Actual Play TV shows and her own Twitch channel FunnyGodmother (Sundays 10AM PT) Her professional improv experience includes 13 yrs at Seattle’s Unexpected Productions (ensemble, teacher), 9 yrs with Seattle Experimental Theater (cast, staff), and 12 yrs with NERDprov (founding member).
Cheryl Platz is an internationally renowned design leader, author, speaker, and actor based in the Los Angeles area. Her book Design Beyond Devices is available via Rosenfeld Media and most online booksellers in print and digital formats. She is currently the Director of User Experience, Player Platform at Riot Games, and owner of design education company Ideaplatz, LLC.
In 2020, Cheryl was diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and received life-changing surgeries from Dr. William Ericson to restore her ability to work at full productivity while using ergonomic equipment. Afterwards, she began publicly advocating for greater awareness of this genetic disorder. In 2021 Cheryl launched a new chapter of her life with her husband, actor David Foubert by moving to Los Angeles for her new role at Riot Games.
An East Coast native and graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in computer science and human-computer interaction, Cheryl spent the first half of her life in Pennsylvania. At Carnegie Mellon, she had the unique opportunity to study with Randy Pausch (“The Last Lecture”), who she counted as a teacher, mentor, manager (during her time as a TA in his Building Virtual Worlds class), and eventually a friend during his sabbatical at Electronic Arts.
After graduation, she passed through Orlando and San Francisco before making her home in Seattle for 17 years.
Cheryl’s professional career began with video gaming (Maxis/EA, Griptonite Games) and theme park technology (Walt Disney World), but she also spent years working on cloud and enterprise software like Azure (Microsoft) and technology for large scale philanthropy (Gates Foundation) as well as groundbreaking consumer products like Alexa (Amazon) and Cortana. She has now returned to the entertainment industry with her current role at Riot Games, applying everything she’s learned about cross-device experience strategy to bring groundbreaking experiences to players worldwide.
Performing and Hosting
Cheryl’s professional acting and hosting work has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world, from multi-cam livestream TV shows on Twitch and dozens of comic convention and arts festival appearances to her design TikTok account of 36,000 followers. Her unique and versatile background eventually brought her to the stage as Toastmaster for the 58th Annual Nebula Awards with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Association in 2023.
Volunteering and Community Outreach
Cheryl has a long history of engagement with community organizations, including 2 years on the executive board of STEM nonprofit IGNITE Worldwide (Inspiring Girls Now for Technology Evolution); serving as an administrator with the community advocacy group The Online Creators Association; extensive volunteer work for Unexpected Productions and other arts organizations; guest lecturing, judging and mentoring with a number of design and tech training programs including the Harvard Extension School and Mentor Me Collective; and numerous guest appearances as a workshop instructor and panelist for grade school STEM programs (DigiGirlz, Girls Who Code, IGNITE).
In 2021, Cheryl completed the initial endowment of her Future Voice Scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University for underrepresented undergraduate students in order to pay forward the scholarship support she received as an undergraduate Andrew Carnegie scholar.